Books are my escape...I need it. My life is super busy between working full time, being a mom of 2 super social kids, a traveling husband, and an annoying habit of not being able to say "No".
Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, has emerged from captivity where he was tortured by the French. Upon his return, Gillian, Countess of Greendale, informs him of his daughter’s struggles and together they repair to his country seat to reconnect with his daughter and begin a long healing process for Christian and ultimately Gilly.
This story was captivating (excuse the pun on the title) and rich. Christian suffered terribly in captivity and really had what seemed liked PTSD. He was jumpy with loud sounds, couldn’t eat, drink or sleep, and Gilly was there to put him on track to recovery. It was interesting how Gilly jumped into the role of co-dependent caretaker and completely ignored (avoided) her own issues. It isn’t until much later in the book that the full extent of Gilly’s trauma is revealed and the reason for her inability to move on as much as she forces Christian to do so.
But what I liked the most was what turned out to be Christian’s sensitivity. He came across hard and closed off in the beginning, but then as he started to settle in the country, spend time with his daughter, share his experiences with Gilly, he became something more than he was before he went to war. He shared his view of his marriage and the reasons for leaving for the war and the reader experienced his recovery through his words which was lovely. Gilly was a great listener and promoter of Christian’s healing and enjoyed receiving his spontaneous kisses, however, she wasn’t up to sharing much of her story at all.
Their falling in love was sweet…so tender, slow, platonic until abruptly it wasn’t. This line really had my eyebrows raise:
“Spread your legs, love. Make a place for me, or tell me to sleep on the balcony” – Christian
I thought that was quite abrupt given how they usually conversed, but it worked obviously for them.
Definitely a worthwhile read and will go on my to be read again shelf I’m sure.
Another thing to note, that is more of a personal thing I think for me, was how the story was written. It was written very eloquently and reminded me of reading Jane Austen. It was almost Old English. As I am not an English major and have been out of school for many years, there may be a term for this, but it occurred to me that I was reading this as if I was truly in this time period. The descriptions, the conversations, were written in this manner that made me think that everything else I read is somehow “dumbed down”. I think this is a nice distinction and quality of her writing and I will look to see if she carries this style to her other books as I read more.